Gary Randal Gossett, 83, long time owner of Gary’s Oyster Bar in Lake Alfred, passed peacefully at his Winter Haven home with his loved ones by his side on August 31, 2023.
Gary was born in Jasper, AL and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1963. He was a lifelong Crimson Tide fan! During a recent hospital stay, he created some new Roll Tide fans amongst the staff. After college, he was in the Army Reserves. He spent the early part of his career at the predecessor companies to Lockheed-Martin.
Then he followed his passion and spent 45 years in the restaurant business in Polk County. He purchased Gary’s Oyster Bar in 1978. The oldest business in Lake Alfred and the oldest oyster bar in Polk County. Gary was passionate about the patrons of his restaurants, many who had been dining with him across generations. He has served famous musicians to legendary baseball players! Whether it was locals or snowbirds, he truly cared for his customers. He and his team loved catering for some of the best gatherings and corporate events in Polk County.
He is pre-deceased by his parents, Alvin and Audie Lee Gossett; granddaughter, Kaitlyn Gossett. He is survived by his loving wife, Susan; 4 sons, Gary Jr., Jeff, Andrew Derham (Jaclyn) and Eric Derham (Jalyn); sisters, Joyce Hunter and Tris Plyler; sister in law, Janet Brothers (Keith). He had 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren with two more on the way. He was a beloved uncle to 6 nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. Funeral service immediately following. Both will be held at Oak Ridge Funeral Care, Winter Haven, FL. Gary’s final resting place will be located at the Gossett family plot at Rolling Hills Cemetery in Winter Haven, FL.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to Boys and Girls Club of Polk County. You can donate online at https://bgcpolk.org/donate-now/